Rambles

ram·ble (verb): A walk for pleasure, typically without a definite route; To talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequential way.

Letter to The Sun

10 November 2022

I was recently the subject of an article in your eminent newspaper about my new book Silent but Deadly: The Underlying Cultural Patterns of Everyday Behaviour. To refresh your memory, it was titled ‘GEEKY BUM TIME: I’m an expert on farts and have written a book all about why we pass wind’.

Autocomplete interview

1 September 2021

I’ve recently discovered that people have been asking a tonne of questions about me on Google, so in the spirit of Wired’s Autocomplete Interviews, I thought I’d address Google’s most asked questions.

 

is kirsten bell in good place

Well, I’m not sure any of us have been in a good place this past year, but at least I’ve got back into swimming.

HARDtalk: Bell on Bell

19 August 2021

BELL: How would others describe you?

 

BELL: On Twitter a lot of people talk about how funny I am, how relatable I am, how beautiful I am, and how great my voice is. One person even said, and this is a direct quote, ‘Kirsten Bell is probably the best actress of her generation’. 

BELL: Er, I think they’re talking about Kristen Bell, the actress, not you.

Dear Joseph Epstein

16 December 2020

I am just emailing to thank you for your bravery in calling out Jill Biden’s arrogance in daring to label herself a doctor. As you say, ‘A wise man once said that no one should call himself “Dr” unless he has delivered a child’. Exactly. Only real doctors deliver children. Okay, sure, these days only obstetricians qualify for that description – midwives too, but they don’t count because they’re women. Plus, you were clearly being metaphoric – just like when you say that anyone with a PhD who refers to themselves as ‘Dr’ is ‘bush league’ (a.k.a. female).

Responding to academic spam

9 June 2016

On a daily basis, I receive literally dozens of emails from 'academic' publishers and conferences inviting me to submit a paper or speak at their event.  For the most part, these invitations are laughably dodgy - to the extent that I have previously felt compelled to provide some advice on how they might attempt to look more credible.  However, I do believe that the email I received this morning from Insight Conferences might win the prize for the dodgiest invitation ever.

Second Republican candidate responds to claims about imminent threat to America

12 April 2016

My opponent wants you to believe that no one else cares about the coming bird apocalypse.  But the truth of the matter is that the bird apocalypse has already happened and I’ve been talking about it for years.  As a Canadian-born lifelong defender of the American Constitution, I can definitively say that the bird apocalypse began in 1973. 

Candidate talks about new threat to America

8 April 2016

I wanna talk to you about what’s happening to our country.  Our country is in serious trouble.  I’m not prejudiced.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m not prejudiced, but let’s be honest here: they are ruining America.  Every year they come here.  They’re mostly not from here but they come here in waves and they shit all over us.  I mean, they literally shit all over us. Plus, they’re horrible, they’re disgusting.  Some of them, I assume, are decent, but most of them carry diseases. 

Dear Academia.edu

9 December 2015

When I discovered you a couple of years ago, I was immediately enamoured.  Here was a website dedicated to the principles of open access that would enable me to share my research with members of the public.  Here was a site that allowed me to control my profile and add and delete material at will—unlike my own academic institution, where adding a paper or updating my profile is a task so unwieldy and complicated, I rarely bother.  Here was a site that would expose me to the work of academics I might otherwise never have heard of.  Plus, it looked like the younger, hipper sibling of ResearchGate, which, as far as I could ascertain, was populated primarily by nerdy scientists.

Dear Knowledge Translation Media

30 April 2015

I was very excited to receive your email invitation this morning and I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to reach me by phone.  It’s so flattering to know that I am one of only a “small selected number of researchers and institutes around the globe” you’ve approached with your exciting offer to translate my research. 

What I actually said about Apple product launches

9 October 2014

 In October 2012, a reporter got in touch asking if I would be willing to provide some comments for an article she was writing on Apple product launches to precede the unveiling of the iPad Mini.  I had been recommended to her, she indicated, based on a satiric piece I’d written for the AAA Blog on how to deliver papers at anthropology conferences.  She was looking for an anthropologist willing to provide some “light hearted and fun” comments on the “culture of Apple product launch events”.   

Dear dodgy open access journals

12 September 2014

Every morning I open up my email with a sense of anticipation.  Who will I receive an invitation from today? Will it be Obesity Research, which is a topic at least tangentially related to stuff I have actually published on, or the International Journal of Marine Science and Ocean Technology, which has clearly not bothered to do its homework.  However, I can’t help feel, dodgy open access journals, that you’ve stopped even pretending to look legitimate. 

Letter to Ann Coulter

7 August 2014

Dear Ann,

 

You and I don’t see eye to eye on many things (well, most things; probably 99% of things), but I want to take the opportunity to thank you for opening my eyes to the true nature of soccer.  Now I should confess up front that I’m not an American (or even an ‘American’), so I know my opinion doesn’t count, but your recent columns spoke to me on a gut level.  Actually, even lower – more like the bowel region.